Groucho Marx famously said that he wouldn’t want to be a part of any club that would have him.
And yet, each of us belongs — whether actively or passively — to any number of groups and tribes which reinforce our beliefs and sense of belonging: churches, families, professional associations, personal posses, political affiliations.
Each of these groups is defined by its own set of lines, and those who ascribe to these beliefs vs. other beliefs, those who happen to share a given bloodline or legal arrangement, those who happen to live within specific geographic boundaries, those who happen to identify as A, B, or C…
It can be easy to fall into complacency – to agree with a group that will have us – because it’s less mentally taxing than thinking for ourselves. And sometimes, we wake up – or have an experience that compels us to realize that the belief system shared by the social group is no longer in alignment with our own.
When we experience dissonance, we’re faced with a series of choices: do we continue to ascribe as-is, and tolerate the dissonance? Do we seek to negotiate change in the interest of bringing the group along with us? Or do we embrace our own truth – and chart a path toward groups that better align with our views and beliefs?
Yes. These are choices. And as soon as we recognize our power to actively choose the groups to which we belong (or not), we also realize our power to find – or create – new community that better aligns with our sense of how the world is (or should be).
And with this potential to create and/or find new community comes the potential to create powerful change. It also creates new opportunities for belonging (not only for you, but for others).
Choose your boundary lines for yourself, and talk about them openly — because magic happens when you speak truth: others listen, and respond, and your tribe will find you.